Sini, Melissa and Tammy Rae have done more than start a crowd funding campaign, they have introduced into the conversation things that often don't get talked about in the queer community unless it directly effects you. They have started a dialogue about chronic illness, disability and mobility. So far 274 people are engaging in this sometimes taboo topic and the number grows every time someone watches the video on the donation page.
Sini with Kathleen Hanna
The day before the campaign went live I found myself sitting with friends, talking about crowd funding. The conversation was going in the direction of feeling asked for money almost on a daily basis. That every project they saw posted was an awesome idea and worth the investment but they just didn't have that much money to give. This left me feeling guilty for being on the other end, the one that is standing beside the artist, asking. But it's important to remember that crowd funding is sometimes the singular resource for not just queer artists, but all artists, and fundraisers. Sini's campaign shows us how important it can be, it can even save a life.
I know my herstory, or I try my best to. I have Holly Near & Fanny Vinyl right next to Team Dresch and Julie Ruin. I got into this business because I am a fan. I make my living running a queer record label and I feel very lucky to do so. This does raise a red flag in the industry I love. The artist that are living tour to tour / project to project - more than likely do not have a 401K, they are lucky to have insurance period. These artist provide the soundtrack to our lives, inspire us through their every medium - connect us together as a community through their work. What's going to happen to these artist and activist as they encounter illness and age?
Its not an easy question to ask. It's a hard dialogue to take on. We are at the mercy of private sector health care in this country and it scares the hell out of me. Not just for my own health but for everyone. Sini, is one of many artist that has helped the queer arts movement become what it is today. Her art has helped shape everything from our politics to our gender identity. I encourage you to give if you can and please share with every social media outlet that you are connected to. This is more than making an album or scoring a film, we have a chance to save a life.